Posted On: 10/8/18 10:00 AM
The Grafton Spoilers won 19 games last season and reached the Region Final before losing to eventual state champion Hillsboro. Gone is a big senior class that generated a lot of wins for the program but with arguably the best player in the state manning their center position, the Spoilers can enter the 2018-19 season with high expectations.
Must Be Replaced: Marcus Niemen, Riley Hanson, Andrew Schaan, Cole Hanson,
Grafton graduates eight seniors in total including a big chunk of their backcourt. Riley Hanson, Marcus Niemen and Andrew Schaan were integral parts of Grafton’s attack even though the Spoilers ran their offense through their two bigs inside. It’ll be difficult to replace all that experience on the perimeter.
Returning Starters: Dalton Albrecht, Beau Feltman
Albrecht has been the go-to guy for Grafton the last two years and was a force as a junior, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Bemidji State recruit had a terrific summer playing with ND Attack and produces efficiently and consistently. He’ll be called upon even further this season as his team integrates a crop of guards to the varsity level. Feltman’s a longtime varsity guy too, joining Albrecht in the frontcourt to form a deadly 4-5 combo inside. He’s an active defensive big and he’ll need to produce points inside more than ever this winter.
Stepping Into New Roles: Jayse Mecham, Stevan Garza
There will be a lot of new names picking up varsity minutes this year for the Spoilers but two guys who will see heavy increases in their workloads are senior guard Jayse Mecham and sophomore guard Stevan Garza. Both saw rotation minutes a year ago and had their moments of success. With Grafton running so much of its offense through Albrecht and Feltman, there will be opportunities for those guards to grow organically and with defenses dedicating so much effort on turning off the interior, there should be chances for them to put up points.
Grafton may not go into the year with expectations of pushing towards 20 wins again with so much inexperience beyond Albrecht, but any time a team has a returning All-Stater lacing them up, it’s got a chance. Albrecht is that good and Feltman is awfully good too. That’s a big man duo that few teams can contend with. There may be some growing pains as the team integrates a new crop of guards to the varsity level but Grafton will be competitive this winter.